HYDE United will always be remembered for the 26-0 FA Cup defeat inflicted by Preston in 1887. But the club, founded two years earlier as Hyde FC, were anything but a collection of hopeful amateurs. They were an ambitious outfit who wanted to compete with the best.
The 1887-88 season was actually very successful and at the end of it Hyde met Newton Heath (now Manchester United) in a match described as the unofficial championship of Manchester.
At the turn of the 20th century, the club won four league titles. They moved to Ewen Fields in 1906 after a takeover of Hyde St George’s which allowed them to replace the Saints in the Lancashire Combination.
Hyde folded in 1917 because of what was termed war reaction. However, there were demands for the club to be re-established and in 1919 it was reborn as Hyde United.
In the 1920s, Hyde dominated the Manchester League, winning five championships, which led to election to the Cheshire County League in 1930.
After the Second World War, Hyde won the Cheshire Senior Cup for the first time. In 1954 they reached round one of the FA Cup, losing to a Workington side managed by Bill Shankly. In the following two seasons the club clinched back-to-back Cheshire League titles.
Hyde’s nickname, the Tigers, was adopted at the end of the 1960s when they were founder members of the Northern Premier League. They were expected to struggle but fought like tigers for two seasons to finish seventh and eleventh. However, the club could not cope financially and resigned in 1970.
It took ten years for Hyde to re-emerge. In 1981-82 they won the Cheshire League treble and returned to the NPL. They faced Burnley in the First Round of the FA Cup in 1983, and in 1989 made it to the FA Trophy Semi-Final’s.
In 1986, Hyde sold Ewen Fields to Tameside Council so that a synthetic Baspograss pitch could be laid. They won several trophies, faced Darlington in the First Round of the FA Cup (1994) and reached two more Trophy Semi-Final’s.
Grass was reinstated in 1995 but in 2003, only three years after finishing second in the NPL Premier Division, Hyde were relegated only to come back as champions at the first attempt. They immediately followed up with the NPL title in 2004-05.
Fortunes were mixed in National League North. Key backers pulled out and in 2009 the Tigers were even wound up for a week.
The following year, Hyde secured a deal to allow Manchester City’s elite development squad to use Ewen Fields. The money secured the club’s immediate future but the decision to drop the United suffix and stop wearing red shirts divided fans. A poor season followed.
Yet, back in red, the Tigers amazed everyone in 2011-12. Beginning the campaign with ten consecutive wins, they won the championship and promotion to the national division where they finished 18th and beat clubs like Wrexham, Luton and Grimsby.
Unfortunately, three consecutive relegations followed. By 2016 Hyde were in the NPL First Division North and at their lowest ebb since 1970. Luckily change was on the way.
Hyde FC was reborn as a supporters' trust called Hyde United. A state-of-the-art 3G pitch was laid in partnership with Tameside Council, and by 2017 they were back in the NPL Premier Division. In November of the same year, the Tigers faced Milton Keynes Dons at Ewen Fields in the FA Cup First Round, in a game shown live on Match of the Day.
The first full season after the COVID lockdowns, 2021-22, proved turbulent. There were three managers and times when the club was too close to the relegation places. Safety was achieved after the appointment of Nick Spooner in February and Hyde United are now looking to the future with confidence